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Getting To Know The DaVinci Resolve Control Panel: Part 1

September 20, 2016

The DaVinci Resolve Control Panel gives you the most hands-on control of Resolve. In this Insight, learn about the design & functionality.


Demystifying THE Resolve Control Panel

The ‘Big Panel’, ‘Advanced Control Surface’, or just simply the Resolve Control Panel — if you’re a Resolve user you probably know what we’re talking about!

The Resolve Control Panel (it’s actually three separate panels) is manufactured and sold by Blackmagic Design and at $30,000, The Resolve Control Panel is clearly not for everyone, but it does provide the Resolve colorist with the most tactile control available.

Recently, we have received several emails from members who’ve recently upgraded to the Resolve Control Panel and were surprised that there is literally no documentation about how to use it!




On a smaller panel, one can learn to get around in a few hours, but on a panel(s) with 5 LCD displays, 32 soft knobs, 30 soft buttons and dozens of hard labeled buttons, not to mention quite a few sub-menus – learning the ‘big panels’ can be very intimidating.

And that’s not even getting into the countless panel ‘shortcuts’ and features only found on on this panel.

Scratching our heads about why we hadn’t covered the big panels in depth before now, we decided to do something about, and in this Insight, we’ll start a new series on the Resolve Panel with a detailed overview.

In Part 1

Although we’re based in different cities (and across thousands of miles) Team Mixing Light does get together every so often.

Recently, Pat & Robbie were together recording some training for a corporate partner of Mixing Light and we had Robbie’s Resolve Control Panel in the studio.

Rather than continue to procrastinate about getting started in this series, we decided to jump right in.




In Part 1, we discuss how to get the Resolve Panel, the overall design and connections as well go over the essential sections of the panel.

In addition, in this part, we also discuss how bigger IS better! With so much tactile control over the Resolve UI, the Resolve Panel can actually let you work faster and focus more shots rather than messing around with a mouse in the interface.

In Future Insights

We’d have to a make a 3-hour Insight to cover everything about the Resolve Panel.  Instead, we’ll break down the Resolve Panel in much more detail over forthcoming Insights.

Robbie & Dan (and Pat will probably chime in too) will cover:

  • Soft Button & Soft Knob Functionality
  • Hard Button Functionality
  • Making Primary & Secondary Corrections With The Panel
  • Panel Only Control
  • Panel Shortcuts

The only way to really get to know any panel is to get hands-on time with it and develop muscle memory. And that of course, means lots of practice and figuring out where things are and how the panel operates.


Patrick working on a DaVinci Resolve Colorist Control SurfaceOn a complex panel like the Resolve Panel, there are multiple ways to get to the same place, combinations of keys that do different things, etc.

Our hope with this series is to not be encyclopedic about every control (BMD should probably do that!), but give you a better understanding of using the panel in a real-world setup.

Of course, we’ll happily provide answers to any questions you may have or follow up on anything we may have missed.

-Robbie, Dan, Patrick

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